Life & Style

‘Purpose and dedication in playing the bad guy’: Alia Bhatt on ‘Heart of Stone’

  • Bollywood actor's Netflix movie co-starring Gal Gadot will debut on August 11
Published August 7, 2023
Photo: screengrab
Photo: screengrab

Bollywood actor Alia Bhatt shared how there’s “purpose and dedication” in playing the villain in an interview with Hindustan Times on Monday.

In a video interview with her co-star, Hollywood actor Gal Gadot, Bhatt discussed playing a villain in the upcoming Netflix film ‘Heart of Stone’, her transition into Hollywood, and presenting women in “unexpected shades”.

Alia Bhatt completes first Hollywood film with Gal Gadot and Jamie Dornan

“A lot of how to play the villain comes with the writing. You just have to commit to the direction. But I think there’s a lot of purpose and dedication in being the bad guy because to me, I’m not the bad guy. To me, I’m the right guy.

“Keya’s passion and purpose, her need or want for the ‘Heart’ has reason. And she believes in that,” explained Bhatt.

“For her, she’s not the bad guy. So you need to fully commit to that moment as an actor. I think it’s about displaying both her sides with much clarity and focus.”

‘Heart of Stone’ tells the story of an intelligence operative, Rachel Stone played by Gadot, working for a shadowy global peacekeeping agency. These highly trained agents rely on a one-of-a-kind asset called the ‘Heart’ which is what Keya Dhawan (Alia Bhatt) is out to steal. The cast also includes Jamie Dornan as Stone’s MI6 counterpart.

“Of course, there are those in-between moments where she’s being sassy and a bit heavy-handed with the sarcasm, which is great,” added Bhatt. “It’s built into the writing. And it’s a first for me. So I had a lot of fun really juicing those moments,” added Bhatt.

What to watch this August: ‘Heart of Stone’, ‘Billions’, ‘Depp V Heard’

Gadot, speaking about working with Bhatt, said, “From the moment we met I feel like we connected. She brings a lot of warmth with her. I think breaking into the American market will be a smooth transition for Alia.”

Responding to a question about women backing each other, Bhatt responded that she would like to see that but also would like to see people showing up for each other.

“We want to make truly equitable content and films and don’t think it should be skewed towards one gender in particular.

“However, I definitely feel there’s merit in showing women in unexpected shades. It’s way more entertaining to see two women fight and outsmart each other.”

“Those dynamics are way more interesting than to see them sitting and gossiping at lunchtime. Those things are interesting to play with. But I think it should be a balance of both.”

Bhatt was seen last year in ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi,’ directed by ace director Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The film premiered at the Berlinale and went on to become a box office success, reaching number one in 25 countries on Netflix globally.

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Another production, the South Indian film ‘RRR,’ in which she plays one of the leads, was one of the biggest Indian hits of the year and went on to win an Oscar for best original music as well as a Golden Globe.

The Netflix hit ‘Darlings’ was Bhatt’s debut as producer and magnum opus ‘Brahmastra Part One: Shiva’ was a box-office success.

Bhatt is the daughter of veteran Bollywood filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt and is married to fellow Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor.

‘Heart of Stone’ will premiere on Netflix on August 11.

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